Pikmin 4 video Game Releases

Review: Pikmin 4

Since its inception two decades ago, the Pikmin series from Shigeru Miyamoto has been a staple on each new Nintendo console. Pikmin is something you put on to feel good. While it’s been almost a decade since the initial tease, we’re just days from Pikmin 4 launching on Switch. To stand out, there needs to be something that the series hasn’t seen yet and generally, it feels like something exciting to discover later this month.

Pikmin 4 allows you to build your character in a first for the series. The beloved Captain Olimar, who’s been a staple since launch, returns in a support role, so don’t go in expecting to play as the unlucky Captain who’s constantly finding himself crashlanding on a multitude of planets. Instead, you play a recruit sent out to find and rescue the poor Captain, only to find yourself shipwrecked on the alien world. As it turns out, you must save your team and find Olimar before returning home.

Oh, Bother, Not Again

Pikmin 4 builds upon the successful elements of its predecessors and introduces several exciting additions, prioritizing exploration as its core aspect. The game eases time constraints, providing players with clearer pathways to navigate. A rewind mechanic is also included, enhancing the core gameplay by returning any lost Pikmin to you. We’ve all been there where a mistake leads to the demise of a dozen or more creatures, so it’s welcoming to see Nintendo alleviate some of the constraints the series has had for years. Furthermore, several new companions accompany you on your expedition across the alien planet, giving you new ways to explore and tackle the unknown terrain.


Each day and night cycle is around 15 minutes, and Nintendo removed the overall time limit to welcome newcomers without constraints. This is easily one of the best changes the series has added in ages, as the worry of life support or food reserves is a thing of the past, and it’s now far more accessible for newcomers and those without a lot of free time to play video games. Also, a new addition to the series comes in the form of pup Oatchi, an alien dog who is readily by your side. Oatchi helps when you need it the most, like if a barrier is in your way and needs to come down, finding items in the vicinity, even finding members of the downed crew. You can get around on the back of your alien pup and upgrade his attack, support skills, and more.


The stars of the show are, of course, the Pikmin. If you want to grab an item, move an obstacle, and do your dirty work, send a Pikmin to do it. These critters come in several iterations, including red, yellow, and blue, with varying types appearing in each game. The red Pikmin are strong and impervious to fire; the yellow Pikmin are light and can dig faster; the blue Pikmin can swim, amphibious, and water-resistant. You’ll discover new types in your rescue mission, including an Ice Pikmin and Glow Pikmin. However, you can only bring three classes at any time, so you must be mindful of which Pikmin heads out with you.

You’ll also find onions that can be used to recruit specific Pikmin via pellets on flowers and, eventually, increase the number of Pikmin that can follow you as you explore.

Pikmin All About

If you throw an Ice Pikmin at a nearby enemy, it freezes them solid, allowing you to switch to another Pikmin type (we went with Red) and finish the job. You can even toss this new teammate into the water, turning it into ice so your whole party can cross without getting hurt, even the non-swimmers.


Now, this trick won’t always work (we learned that the hard way in a lava-filled cave that wasn’t exactly friendly to our icy pals), but that’s where planning comes into play. You must ensure you have the right Pikmin for the task at hand, though you can always head back to the Onion ship (which can now move around the planet with you) and swap out team members if needed.


This adds to a classic Pikmin experience with some cool new features and tweaks to the core mechanics. It’s a great entry point for newcomers to the series too. I’m thrilled with how Nintendo has addressed accessibility in this entry, as there is a lot of room to enjoy what you’re doing now without the added stress of having time constraints.


Additionally, Rock Pikmin return after being introduced in Pikmin 3. Rock Pikmin have a rocky exterior and can be distinguished by their gray colour and their body being immune to crushing attacks or being squashed by enemies. If you throw them at an enemy or crystal wall, they can easily cause significant damage due to their exterior.

On the planet’s surface, treacherous caves are hidden, each offering unique challenges that test players with puzzling obstacles, the opportunity to recruit diverse wild Pikmin, and formidable bosses to confront. As you march further underground, your nest and the Onion are left behind, leaving you to fend with your current squad. There are usually additional Pikmin types hidden underground catered to the environment you’re exploring, so there is some relief in discovering other Pikmin needed to complete a sublevel. Thankfully, time isn’t of concern when you’re exploring the caves, so you can take your time hunting for collectibles and leaflings — castaways who’ve been affected by a mysterious ailment that covered them in leaves.


Throughout the primary levels, you’ll likely come across Dandori Battles; these are unique caves that allow you to complete a task and save another lost castaway, often challenging your efficacy and strategizing. You compete within a time limit to complete a task, so you must split your Pikmin up and get as many items back to base before time runs out. The more things you find and bring back, the higher your score is. In some Dandori battles, hot ticket items appear, and you’ll need to gather those for bonus points for your team.


A first for the series, you can now head out at night and complete nighttime expeditions. In previous titles, you could not head out at night because creatures were too dangerous. Now, you can do this with the help of Oatchi and the Glow Pikmin, a new type of creature you’ll discover as you explore the uncharted world.


Usually, at the end of each day, you must be at the ship before the sun. Once you gain the ability to head out at night, you now have the option to end the day as usual or regroup and head out once again into the darkness. With creatures in a frenzy, you must be alert while defending the Lumiknolls, capable of producing Glow Sap. These sections remind me of tower defence minigames, as you must protect the Lumiknoll from attacking enemies while keeping everyone alive.

While I’ve usually enjoyed every Pikmin entry, it wasn’t until the latest entry that I finally began to love the series. For years, I’d roll credits and move on without a second thought, and now I’m considering returning to Oatchi and the Rescue Corps. The characters are all loveable, Oatchi is the best companion, and overcoming the wilderness with my beloved Pikmin is a highlight for me.


One of the best features you’ll use in Pikmin 4 is the ability to rewind, especially when mistakes are made. In some cases, you might haphazardly send a group to their demise. It happens to the best of us; sometimes, I  underestimated a boss or strong enemy, and they crushed a dozen of my Pikmin or ate them before I could recall them. Previous games meant you’d need to top up your team before returning to what you were doing, but now it’s much easier with rewinding time. Throughout each day, you can rewind time to certain parts of the day to redo and improve on what you were doing.

This ability is a blessing for anyone scraping by early on and lacking the right Pikmin. You can restart at sub-level checkpoints when exploring caves and facing a miniboss. It’s much easier to restart a section than risk losing a group of Pikmin now.

The co-op portion has fallen behind for all the improvements made to Pikmin 4. In previous games, you could add a secondary player to the mix who would effectively cut down on what you were doing, allowing you to clean the house at a much faster pace by controlling another character. In this game, the second player is left to throw rocks at enemies while you do the majority of the work. If you’re hoping to play with a child or friend, it’s not the best mode, and an older game might fit your needs better.


As the most accessible and engaging entry in the series, Pikmin 4 is a treat. It’s like a summertime sorbet— light, flavourful, and made with only the best ingredients. For nearly two decades, I’ve consistently underestimated the power behind the series; thanks to some intelligent changes and new additions, I’m finding reasons to pick up my Switch and save every castaway and Rescue Corp member and discover all the little hidden details tucked in the corners of a brilliantly detailed world.


[The publisher provided a copy of the game for review purposes.]

Reviewed on: Switch

Pikmin 4 video Game Releases
As the most accessible and engaging entry in the series, Pikmin 4 is a treat. It’s like a summertime sorbet, light, flavourful, and made with only the best ingredients.
The most accessilble Pikmin to date
New Pikmin types are wonderful to use, Nighttime exploration is great
Oatchi is the best dog
Didn't Like
Aiming Pikmin can sometimes be a nuisance